Why do emails get lost and where can you locate them

Why do emails get lost and where you can locate them

From time to time, your emails may get lost in the process of reaching your contacts. There are a few different reasons this might happen, but when it does, it's helpful to find out why and rectify the issue. If you've experienced this problem, keep reading to learn how to prevent it from happening again.

Check with your recipients

The easiest way to find out what happened to a lost email is to approach the problem from both sides. Look at your email settings and ask your recipients to do the same. Here are the first steps you should take:
  1. Check out your filters to find out if your email could have landed in a different folder.
  1. Check your email client's POP/IMAP configuration.
  1. The recipient may have accidentally deleted the email. Ask them to take a look at their trash folder.
  1. Ask your contact if they have anti-spam software enabled.
  1. Check the spam folder. There is many a chance that your email have landed there.
  1. Make sure both the recipient and sender addresses are in each other's trusted contacts list.

Corporate filters

Things can be a bit trickier when working in the corporate domain. There are likely to be a lot more restrictions/hurdles before we reach the intended recipient's inbox. All the above possibilities apply here as well but there are additional cases to look out for as well.

Firewalls- Usually corporate networks have firewalls set up to filter out most solicitation emails, To get around this problem, it's best to get in touch with your corporate contact directly. 


Post Office Protocol(POP) and Internet Message Access Protocol(IMAP) are what allow you to download emails from a remote server. If you have not integrated your device with one of these protocols, then you may not receive email notifications. Go for the protocol that best suits you and integrate it with your devices.

Bounce cases

Email address validation issues can cause your emails to bounce. Make sure that there are no errors or defunct addresses in your mailing lists.

Quarantined zone

Your email may be quarantined by the recipient's email server. This can happen if your recipient's inbox is full, if you are sending from an unverified address, or if your domain has spam complaints against it. In these cases, you should try to get in contact with your recipient about it.

Check back after a while 

It's easy to be impatient when you're sending out an exciting new campaign. You may be surprised to learn that when it comes to campaigns, emails may not be delivered instantaneously. Try checking on your campaign again later, you may find that it just needed some time.

Floods or drips

If you send messages either too frequently or infrequently, you run the risk of having emails sent to the spam folder. A good baseline is no more than two emails per week and no less than one per month.

Error codes

Temporary failure - 400 error

A temporary failure where the target mail server returns an SMTP error code between 400 and 499 means the mail server is temporarily unable to accept your email message. When you receive this error, the most likely case is that the recipient's server is busy. Usually, mail servers will try again for up to 5 days before giving up. After four hours, they usually send a notice back to the sender explaining why there is a delay. 

Permanent failure - 500 error

A permanent failure returns an SMTP error code between 500 and 599. This code means that the mail server will not accept delivery of this message and it should be returned to sender without further attempts to deliver. Some reasons for these errors include:
  1. The recipient’s email address doesn’t exist.

  2. The email server no longer hosts email from this address— for example, their account has been suspended or closed, or the customer has moved to a new provider without properly updating the domains MX records.

  3. The sender misspelled their recipient’s email address.

  4. The recipient’s spam filters have denied the message.

  5. The sender’s mail server is blacklisted.
Permanent errors generate a delivery failure message that is sent back to the sender.

One Stop Solution

The best solution for every deliverability issue is to ask your recipients to add you to their contact list, address book, or safe senders' list. This will reduce the chances of being stopped or blocked by most filters and anti-spam software. 

    Zoho CRM Training Programs

    Learn how to use the best tools for sales force automation and better customer engagement from Zoho's implementation specialists.

    Zoho CRM Training
      Redefine the way you work
      with Zoho Workplace

        Zoho DataPrep Personalized Demo

        If you'd like a personalized walk-through of our data preparation tool, please request a demo and we'll be happy to show you how to get the best out of Zoho DataPrep.

        Zoho CRM Training

          Create, share, and deliver

          beautiful slides from anywhere.

          Get Started Now

            Zoho Sign now offers specialized one-on-one training for both administrators and developers.

            BOOK A SESSION

                        Still can't find what you're looking for?

                        Write to us:  support@zohoforms.com



                          Manage your brands on social media

                              Zoho Marketing Automation

                                Zoho Sheet Resources


                                    Zoho Forms Resources

                                      Secure your business
                                      communication with Zoho Mail

                                      Mail on the move with
                                      Zoho Mail mobile application

                                        Stay on top of your schedule
                                        at all times

                                        Carry your calendar with you
                                        Anytime, anywhere

                                              Zoho Sign Resources

                                                Sign, Paperless!

                                                Sign and send business documents on the go!

                                                Get Started Now

                                                        Zoho TeamInbox Resources

                                                                Zoho DataPrep Resources

                                                                  Zoho DataPrep Demo

                                                                  Get a personalized demo or POC

                                                                  REGISTER NOW

                                                                    Design. Discuss. Deliver.

                                                                    Create visually engaging stories with Zoho Show.

                                                                    Get Started Now

                                                                                          • Related Articles

                                                                                          • Bounces

                                                                                            Bounces occur when sent emails cannot be delivered. Typically, the email server will send you an error message, detailing the reason for the bounce. To learn more about this mechanism, let's walk through the process of sending an email and where ...
                                                                                          • Ways to avoid spam filters

                                                                                            When you send an email to your contacts, it goes through the following three steps: You (the sender) send your email via Zoho Marketing Automation (email marketing service) Scrutinized by spam filters by mailbox providers and anti-spam services ...
                                                                                          • What causes emails to end up in the spam folder?

                                                                                            A lot of effort goes into planning and framing a marketing campaign. With a little more effort, you can ensure that these campaigns yield a higher ROI instead of ending up in the spam folder. The answer to this question has many answers, so we'll be ...
                                                                                          • How do I respond if my emails are throttled?

                                                                                            If mailbox providers feel skeptic of your email volume or sending practices, they may defer your emails. This limiting of or delay in accepting emails is called email throttling. When you send emails to your recipients, any of the following actions ...
                                                                                          • Get ready for the holidays

                                                                                            The holiday season is the part of the year that we all look forward to as it is filled with festivities. Its major events include Halloween, Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, Boxing Day, and New Year's Eve/Day. Many marketers ...
                                                                                          Wherever you are is as good as
                                                                                          your workplace



                                                                                            Watch comprehensive videos on features and other important topics that will help you master Zoho CRM.


                                                                                            Download free eBooks and access a range of topics to get deeper insight on successfully using Zoho CRM.


                                                                                            Sign up for our webinars and learn the Zoho CRM basics, from customization to sales force automation and more.

                                                                                            CRM Tips

                                                                                            Make the most of Zoho CRM with these useful tips.

                                                                                              Zoho Show Resources